Young Sam Spalek caught our attention at the Broken Arrow Pancake Breakfast this past month. He was quite the flipper for a 10 year old! We learned that not only is he a pancake-flipping phenom, but he’s also a good runner, and that’s not all…
Introduction by Sam’s dad, Viktor Spalek:
“Sam is the son of Veronika and Viktor. Big brother to Simona. Who likes to spend time outdoors, hiking, running or just skateboarding. He is a big lizard lover, and is an owner of a Leopard Gecko called Reese. Lately he likes to play Roblox and other games on the phone.”
- Where are you from and where do you live now?
I am from Bratislava, Slovakia and now I live in Santa Clara,California
- When did you begin running and/or long-distance running, if that applies? Why?
My parents always joked that I was born a runner, but on Ultra Signup my first race was when I was five (2017), I started running because it seemed enjoyable to me, but also I saw my parents doing it.
- Do you race? Does racing motivate you? If not racing, what motivates you?
Yes, I do race for Umoja Track Club. My favorite events are the 200, 800 and 1500 meters. My motivation is my coach, my parents and friends and improvement. When I don’t have a goal, nothing motivates me.
- Do you have any dream races (either hoping to qualify for or get selected for)?
I do have a dream race and that would be the Western States when I grow up. On that I will have to train a lot.
- Do you have a favorite on-trail food or nutrition strategy and favorite post-run meal or beverage?
I don’t think I have a strategy. I just take whatever my parents buy. My favorite post-run meal and beverage is a good burger and sprite.
- Do you have a favorite recipe to share?
I like doing ham and eggs for me and my sister. I also enjoy doing homemade crepes:
Ingredients: Flour, eggs, milk, oil, sugar and salt,
Take a medium size bowl and add half a liter of milk, two eggs, tablespoon of oil, tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of salt.
Mix in flour until it feels perfect (not too liquid and not too thick).
Heat a pan with a little bit of oil.When heated use a ladle to scoop up the dough and spread it evenly amongst the pan.
When crisp, flip the dough over and wait until done. When done, pick it up and put it on a plate and spread some Nutella or jam on the crepe.
Roll it up and enjoy (or eat it without any spread)
- What was your favorite running experience this past year?
My favorite running experience was when I ran Broken Arrow 11 k with my dad. Compared to last time I did not bonk or fall. The finish was different.
- What was your most challenging/ character-building experience this past year?
I think the most challenging experience this year was the track season because the races were tighter together than 2019, and there were Covid precautions.
- What are your upcoming racing/adventure plans?
The Junior Olympics are happening in Sacramento next year so we are trying to qualify with my sister Simona.
- What do you do for a living? Is it hard to fit in time for training?
I go to school for a living and it is not hard to fit in time for training because my parents handle it.
- What led you to join DPMR?
- What has been your favorite DPMR experience so far?
Flipping pancakes at Broken Arrow:
- Favorite local trail?.
I like Sam McDonald where I found a California Newt.
- Do you have a mental training technique, mantra, or similar that you rely on to combat the mentally trying times of a longer run?
I don’t have anything yet.
- Do you listen to audio while you run and if so, what have you been enjoying lately?
I don’t listen to music but we sing when we run together as a family.
- Recovery technique that you swear by?
I usually don’t need recovery but when I do my dad comes and tortures me with the massage gun.
- Do you have a favorite piece of running gear?
I collect hats and I have like almost a whole closet full of ’em
- What other outdoor or indoor interests do you have?
My other outdoor interest is just climbing trees and other outdoor stuff like snow and skiing. I also like skateboarding too.
- Any interesting facts about yourself you would like to share?
I own a gecko called Reese and I had her for a year.